WASHINGTON: The chairwoman and founder of World Afghan Congress, Maryam Atmar has announced 1399 of Hijri Shamsi and 2020 of Gregorian calendar as the ‘Year of Afghan Women’.

The announcement comes on Nowruz, the first day of spring and first day of Hijri Shamsi calendar year.

The announcement comes at a critical time when Afghan women in Afghanistan and across the world face major challenges whether it is in regards to the peace talks with Taliban or inequality at home, office and society.

“I believe with the growing challenges in Afghanistan and around the world, time is running out for us Afghan women. I had enough of male presidents talking of appointing women ministers or diplomats for political point scoring, or a male dominated boardroom talking of women inclusion or aid projects of countries with misogynist men leaders funding women empowerment.”

Maryam Atmar said.

In 2020, I want women envisioned, owned and led initiatives. I, as a woman am taking the lead to support women to become our presidents, get women trading and start businesses, women invest in women, and speak for ourselves whether that is on national or global platforms. I am not okay with men using women as tools whether in business, politics or society. And we will fund our ideas and initiatives ourselves.

She added.

The campaign has been launched at a time when Taliban are at the gates of Kabul with a deal in their hands and coronvirus making life and death slightly more uncertain. Both putting women at the highest risk.

The ‘Year of Afghan Women’ campaign aims to:

1. Profile leading Afghan women of the world.

2. Help Afghan women start businesses and trade with the world.

3. Invest in ideas of Afghan women.

4. Support the political rise of Afghan women across the globe.

5. Promote the creative and artistic work of Afghan women on world stage.

6. Give Afghan women a voice on world stage taking control back from foreign NGOs and political loyalists of governing parties.

7. Ensure a future envisioned by Afghan women, led by Afghan women and implemented by them.

On this year’s women day, World Afghan Congress profiled top 10 rising Afghan women from across the world.

The council is looking for strong women of Afghan origin from across the world to come forward and join the organisation to tell their story and decide their own future at a time when foreign NGOs and media continue to paint a picture of Afghan women as a weak, miserable and donation dependent.

Contact: info@worldafghancongress.com